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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Barrow group vows to oppose homes plan

CAMPAIGNERS are prepared to resort to “placards and wellies” in a bid to stop a major housing development near one of the most prominent Barrow landmarks.

A “screen opinion” to gauge residents’ views on a plan for 50 homes on 2.7 hectares of land close to the boundary of Furness Abbey has sparked outrage among lovers of the 12th century monument.

More than 1,000 people have already signed petitions opposing the potential development and protestors vowed at a meeting on Monday night to push their campaign against the development.

Gill Jepson, of the Furness Abbey Fellowship, said: “As a group we’re trying to raise the profile of the abbey but this could be extremely detrimental and could only lead to destruction – particularly with the West Gate being so close to the first venture.”

At present, English Heritage, the body responsible for Furness Abbey, is carrying out a massive project to stabilise the abbey which was built on oak foundations, which are now crumbling.

Mrs Jepson raised concerns about the impact increased traffic and even construction teams could have on the Grade I listed site.

She added that Story Homes, the developers behind the application, have yet to approach English Heritage to discuss plans.

It is believed there could be sites of archaeological importance beneath the site, including a lost village from the abbey’s peak, known as Sellargarth. Paul Littlewood, who is leading the campaign, said: “This is not going to be turned back quickly.”

The group were urged to sign and circulate petitions as well as to write to the council’s planning department in a bid to raise awareness of the level of opposition to the development.

Mr Littlewood said protesters should be willing to don “placards and wellies” if the development does eventually get the go-ahead.”

He added: “The more that go into this, the more it will hit the councillors.”

A spokeswoman for Story Homes said: “We are aware of the opposition to the proposed development and we acknowledge the concerns raised by local people.

“We will be holding a public exhibition on March 6, at which the development proposals will be available to view, and interested parties will have the opportunity to meet with us and discuss their issues or concerns about the proposals.”

Have your say

the plan to build on land adjacent to manor/rating lane should be rejected totally by council's planning department. i support the objection campaign.

Posted by chris wright on 20 February 2014 at 19:32

The developers are simply seeking to 'gauge the level of opposition' and it would be my guess they are actually going to go for a revised or much altered planning submission.
They want to get 'big in Barrow' according to an article in In Cumbria or some such magazine.
Makes you wonder what they no that we don't as both County and Borough Councils play the 'poverty' and 'deprived area' cards at every opportunity you would have thought Story would be aware of this or are the Councils being 'economical with the truth'?

Posted by Tony on 20 February 2014 at 18:00

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